Pastoral Prayers to Share Year B

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Prayers of the People for Each Sunday of the Church Year

David Sparks

270 PP | 5.5" x 8.5"
Paper including Data CD
ISBN: 978-1-55145-592-1

Just what is pastoral prayer all about? When we pray for others and ourselves, what are we attempting to do?

As David Sparks explains, as pastoral pray-ers we are about bringing ourselves into right relationship with God, both as individuals and as a faith community. As pastoral pray-ers, we are about expressing our compassion for suffering humanity, and fulfilling God’s intention of establishing God’s realm on earth. Pastoral pray-ers are also about being involved in the answers to our prayers. There’s no trying to persuade God to do what we ourselves could do with some energy and effort here!

David writes his prayers with a view to awakening in us an awareness of where to put our energy and use our faith to bring about God’s kingdom on earth. They cover local and worldwide events, individual and congregational concerns. They are all lectionary-based and responsive and can easily be adapted to particular circumstances and used in a variety of settings.

Each weekly prayer is divided into four sections: world, suffering, church, and ourselves. Each week offers two or three specific prayer formats to choose from; the “How to Use” section provides 16 broad variations.

The book also includes a data CD with text files, thematic and scripture indices, and icons in the margin for quick reference.

David Sparks, Author

David received his theological education in England and in Canada and has served for 38 years with The United Church of Canada. David’s previous lectionary-based, three-volume prayer collections – Prayers to Share, and Pastoral Prayers to Share – have been welcomed and widely used in North America. David is a prolific and well-received contributor to the worship leader’s resource Gathering, and has had prayers and hymns published in other ecumenical and national Worship publications. David and his wife, Kathy, live in Summerland, British Columbia.

ADVENT 3

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
Psalm 126 or Luke 1:47–55
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
John 1:6–8, 19–28

John tells of the true light and prepares the way for God’s amazing gift in Jesus.

Jesus the true light. (The Christ candle is raised high.)
In this revealing light, people and communities change:
Leaders who abuse the power of their authority and position find humility;
Those who hoard their wealth and resources find generosity;
Struggling single parents and those on welfare or minimum wage find support from
food banks and community organizations;
Silent cries for friendship find a listening ear;
The questions of young persons are taken seriously.
You have seen the true light.
We see the true light in Jesus; we will be a leading light to others.

Jesus the true light. (The Christ candle is raised high.)
In this revealing light the suffering find relief:
Those uncertain of the way out of addiction find a group to accompany and support them;
Persons afraid to go to a doctor about a troubling problem find the courage to make an appointment;
Families in financial difficulties seek out credit counselors;
The sick and mentally troubled receive the help they need;
And the bereaved find that friends are with them in the empty place(time of silent reflection).
You have seen the true light.
We see the true light in Jesus; we will be a leading light to others.

Jesus the true light. (The Christ candle is raised high.)
In this revealing light the community of faith searches for the way ahead:
Churches try out fresh patterns of worship with an emphasis on silence or singing;
Churches make contact with their neighboring faith communities and eat and learn together;
Churches promote mission enterprises and support them as generously as they do local ones;
Churches remember their neighbourhood setting and ask their neighbours how the church can help them.
You have seen the true light.
We see the true light in Jesus; we will be a leading light to others.

Jesus the true light. (The Christ candle is raised high.)
In this revealing light each one of us is challenged to learn and grow and change:
We welcome insights into our personality and ways of being with others;
We welcome fresh opportunities to learn at work and serve in our leisure time;
We welcome the chance to make amends for a past wrong and receive the forgiveness of another.
We welcome word that reminds us of the central place of the spiritual in our lives
and the need to give time and space to God in our day.
You have seen the true light.
We have seen the true light in Jesus; we will be a leading light to others.

Another Way

1. The third Sunday in Advent is often celebrated as the Joy Sunday.

Use the first phrase of the well-known Advent hymn Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (Voices United #35). Once you get into the rejoice and thanksgiving grooves, your own ideas will flow easily into the format below.

All sing: Good Christian friends rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
One:
Rejoice that people are working hard to find a way to peace in…
Two: Rejoice that those who want to find a way to keep our planet green and cool are being listened to.
One: Rejoice that people are giving money to (for example, the Salvation Army kettles in our city). Rejoice that those with plenty are responding to appeals to help those with so little.
Two: Talk about a current “good news” item.
Young person: Rejoice! This is awesome!
Mother or Father: Rejoice! And thank God!
Grandparent or older person: Rejoice! And get busy!
All sing: Good Christian friends rejoice with heart and soul and voice!

One: Rejoice that research into cancers and heart problems is making progress that was unthinkable a generation ago.
Rejoice that older persons with dementia and infirmities are getting the respect they are due.
Rejoice that people are coming to terms with their medical problems.
We remember those members of our families who are in hospital or sick at home (time of silent reflection).
Two: Rejoice that (the local medical or nursing school) is training its students well.
Or, rejoice that medical professionals and personal care workers are getting the continuing training they need.
One: Rejoice that there are people ready to listen to those who have lost loved ones. We remember those in our congregation who have lost loved ones. We are glad with them for many good memories (time of silent reflection).
Young person:Rejoice! This is awesome!
Mother or Father:Rejoice! And thank God!
Grandparent or older person:Rejoice! And get busy!
All sing: Good Christian friends rejoice with heart and soul and voice.

One: Rejoice in the skills and commitment of the leadership in our church at this time.
Two: (Rejoice that our White Gifts will make lots of people happy).
Rejoice in the carols, songs, and readings that warm our hearts in Advent and Christmas worship services; rejoice in the silence, rejoice in the candlelight.
One: Rejoice that all over the world our mission gifts will bring hope to people who struggle and are afraid, and who need to know the spirit of Jesus Christ is with them.
Two: Speak of a specific mission project supported by wider church funds
Young person: Rejoice! This is awesome!
Mother or Father: Rejoice! And thank God!
Grandparent or older person: Rejoice! And get busy!
All sing: Good Christian friends rejoice with heart and soul and voice.

One: Rejoice that the members of our family will be getting together this Christmas.
Rejoice that those in essential jobs and those who cannot return home will be in contact through e-mail, texting, Skype, and telephone.
Two: Rejoice that we will be sharing gifts and food with good friends this Christmas time.
One: Rejoice that although the birth of Jesus Christ in lowly isolation is in sharp contrast to the harsh light and loud music of the commercial Christmas, we will hold Mary and Joseph and the Christ Child in our hearts.
Young person: Rejoice! This is awesome!
Mother or Father: Rejoice! And thank God!
Grandparent or older person: Rejoice! And get busy!
All sing: Good Christian friends rejoice with heart and soul and voice.